Lamar sports informationBEAUMONT – Reigning Hitter of the Year Reid Russell and Lamar baseball paced the way with five Cardinals voted to the Preseason All-Southland Conference teams, the league announced Monday morning.LU, tied with Sam Houston and Southeastern Louisiana for the most picks overall, had three first-team selections in Russell, catcher Bryndan Arredondo and first baseman Trey Silvers. Three on the top team tied New Orleans for the most. Senior outfielder Cutter McDowell and infielder Robin Adames were voted to the second team. The voting was done among the conference’s head baseball coaches.“We’re really excited to have experienced hitters in our lineup, but it’s extremely exciting to have a successful and experienced group,” said head coach Will Davis. “Five of the nine guys in our lineup gained recognition from others in our league.”Russell was chosen as a NCBWA Preseason All-American in late January, and was listed as the Preseason Player of the Year by Perfect Game, Baseball America and D1Baseball.com. Last season, the Longview native tied Michael Ambort’s single season home run record with 18, which ranked 13th nationally in 2016. McDowell was listed as a top-20 prospect from the Southland Conference, according to D1Baseball.com. The outfielder finished with a .305 batting average and 28 runs batted in. The senior started in 53 games and was fourth on the team with 37 runs scored.Adames was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after his 2016 freshman campaign. The sophomore blasted six homers on the year, most of any freshman in the league and fourth-highest total on the team. The Bronx, N.Y., native had a .298 batting average and 16 doubles — which topped the Cardinal club. He finished his year with 33 runs batted in and 33 runs scored.LU, SLU and Sam Houston each had five placed on the 25-player group. New Orleans added three, Stephen F. Austin 2, and Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Nicholls State and Northwestern State each added one.Lamar opens its season with the Cardinal Classic at 6 p.m. against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For tickets, visit LamarCardinals.com/baseballtix or contact the Ticket Office at 409-880-1715. The slugger was voted as a first-team All-Southland pick last year and was added to the ABCA South Central All-Region team. Russell was also invited to compete in the TDAmeritrade Home Run Derby in Omaha, and placed third.He was second in the league in total bases and slugging, fourth in hitting and seventh in total hits. He tallied a team-high 62 runs batted in and was second in the team with a .354 batting average. He wrapped up his season last year with a .665 slugging and a .410 slugging percentage.Arredondo returns as a first-team all-league selection in 2016 after he led all Southland Conference catchers with a .314 batting average – which was second on the Cardinal squad. He caught 49 of LU’s 52 games and recorded 26 RBI and 29 runs scored. He was an electric part of LU’s lineup to start the year and carried a .400 batting average well into league play.Silvers was an extra base machine and secured a spot in the starting lineup after suffering a slow start to the campaign. He tied Arredondo with a .314 batting average and recorded 21 extra base hits with just 26 games started. He was third on the team with eight long balls and had 13 doubles. The Manvel native finished his season with 21 runs batted in and 20 runs scored.
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